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Existential tire relationship dilemma.

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Existential tire relationship dilemma.

Old 05-29-13, 05:20 PM
  #1  
courtleigh
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.

..

Last edited by courtleigh; 05-11-16 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 05-29-13, 05:30 PM
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fietsbob 
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Measure the gap the tire fits into between the fork blades is usually the narrowest point..

Suffering is what bike racing is all about, you just make the Other Guy suffer More, is the Key.
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Old 05-29-13, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by courtleigh View Post
1st question - what HAVE I been missing out on?
2nd question- Anyone have a clue if a 28mm tire will fit on my bike?
1. Evidently you missed (or failed) a lot of writing classes.

2. Measure the narrowest point, either at top of forks or between chainstays, subtract some for gap, and that's the largest tire width that will fit your bike.

Last edited by seeker333; 05-29-13 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 05-29-13, 06:37 PM
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If you are looking for something comparable to the Schwalbe Marathons check of Vittoria Randonneurs.
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Old 05-29-13, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
1, Evidently you missed (or failed) a lot of writing classes.
Ouch, tough crowd.

In my experience, nothing beats a Marathon or Armadillo for flat resistance and durability. Ride quality does suffer though. You must select your priorities. If you're willing to give up a little on those qualities and want a better ride quality, Gatorskins and Vittoria Randonneurs / Voyagers are excellent rubber.
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Old 05-29-13, 07:15 PM
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Your bike comes stock with 25 mm tires, and judging from the clearance (in a pictue) you could probably squeeze in a 28 mm tire. The only issue, albeit small, is needing to deflate the tire to get the wheel off. This is not a problem when repairing a flat tire as long as you remember to mount the wheel before inflating the tire.

The other questions are: Can you put a rack on the bike, and do you have heel clearance if you use rear panniers?

My wife and I rode fully loaded acrosss the U. S. on 28 mm Continental Ultra gatorskins. They are a good tire. We also did a similar trip using Schwalbe Marathons which are also a good tire. We went with the Schwalbe tires for our last long trip because we did not know what type of road conditions we would encounter, and wanted something a little beefier than the Gatorskins. We also went with 32 mm in the Schwalbe tires which could expalin some of the difference in how the tire handled.

The 28 mm Gatorskins would be a good tire for the PDX to SF trip. How much gross weight are you carrying?

Last edited by Doug64; 05-29-13 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 05-29-13, 07:30 PM
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I can't say I like gatorskins that much, but they felt so much better than the pair of armadillos I used FWIW.
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Old 05-29-13, 07:46 PM
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Courtleigh, when we speak of ride quality, generally we're (I'm) speaking about the suppleness of the casing and sidewall which means you don't have as harsh a ride and won't feel the bumps, rough surfaces and buzzing that you might with the stiffer side wall tires such as Marathons. Weight is another concern and can make for slower speeds and longer days with all other things being equal. It's true when fully loaded that these qualities become less noticeable to most people. If flat resistance is your Holy Grail, then hard to beat the Marathons.

Last edited by robow; 05-29-13 at 08:57 PM. Reason: A spelling error and I care not to be called out for it
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Old 05-29-13, 08:13 PM
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Ride quality can include comfort and smoothness of the ride, handling on corners, and the feeling of heaviness (or lack thereof) when accelerating and climbing hills. Marathons and Armadillos are maximized for durability and resistance to flats, with thicker tread and sidewalls, but in doing so give up some of the comfort, handling and lightness you get from less bombproof tires. It's all a matter of compromises and deciding what's most important to you.

My commute is fairly long (30+ miles round trip), with a lot of hills, so I am willing to give up some flat protection and durability for lighter tires that climb, handle and ride better. My main commuting tires are Vittoria Rubinos and Continental GP 4 Seasons, which are both relatively light but also durable and flat-resistant. I've got Vittoria Randonneur Hypers on my touring bike, and they also roll very nice but are somewhat heavier. I commuted for years using racing/training tires such as Michelin Pro2 Race and Conti GP 4000s with very few flats, and only quit using them because they go too expensive.
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Old 05-29-13, 08:22 PM
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Note that Schwalbe Marathon is more a family of tires than one tire. There is just the plain Marathon. Then there is the Marathon Plus, which is heavier but very resistant to punctures etc. There is also the Marathon Supreme, which is about half the weight of the plain vanilla Marathon. They're also about twice as expensive!

I ride 50-559 Supremes but they also come in 28-622.
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Old 05-29-13, 09:27 PM
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P.S.
My wife and I have also done several 2-3 week "lightly loaded", 20-25 lbs of gear, tours on bikes similar to yours. We used 25 mm Ultra gatorskins without any problems. There was even some finely crushed rock on a couple of the trails we rode, and the 25 mm tires handled them well.

I made both sets of panniers to provide heel clearance.

BTW- In my experience the Continental tires are a little harder to mount on the rims. However, the Schwalbe tires almost fall off the rims, which is almost as bad. I'm not sure if it was the combination of rim/tire we were using or if that is a trait of the tire. Maybe someone else can help out on that question.

Changing tubes after a punture is not a big deal. On one trip we had 13 flat tires, most of them in goat head (puncture vine) country. I don't think we've ever done a tour regardless of the tire used or the duration of the tour without at least one flat tire.




Last edited by Doug64; 05-29-13 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 05-29-13, 09:32 PM
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I've commuted with both Armadillos and Marathons for several years and have done short tours (10 days or so) with each. I like both.
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Old 05-29-13, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim Kukula View Post
Note that Schwalbe Marathon is more a family of tires than one tire. There is just the plain Marathon. Then there is the Marathon Plus, which is heavier but very resistant to punctures etc. There is also the Marathon Supreme, which is about half the weight of the plain vanilla Marathon. They're also about twice as expensive!
This.
At one end of the family is the ultra-bulletproof "Plus", at the opposite end is the lightweight Supreme, and there is an assortment of models in between. Just saying "Marathon" doesn't tell the reader what model is being referenced.
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Old 05-29-13, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by courtleigh View Post

Where have you done your trips?
You asked for it!

The last 8 years:

3-4 San Juan Islands/ Canada/ Gulf Islands/ Vancouver Island/Puget Sound/ Washinton loops (usually 10 days-3 weeks); Highway 20 from Newport, OR to Boston, MA; The Pacific Coast Route from Lund, BC to Mexico (broken into 3 segments) ; 3 months in Europe- Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium; Michigan- 900 mile loop; and a loop through the Idaho panhandle .

The 10 day to 3 week tours are the lightly loaded tours. We still camped, but did not take a lot of "extra" things such as a netbook etc.

We are planning to ride from Vancouver, BC to Calgary, Alberta, and then south to Kalispell, MT this July.

We are also planning on doing another loop with our 2 daughters through the San Juans/ Victoria, BC/ Washington in August. You might think we like that area for touring- we do

I ride with the 3 beautiful women in my life every chance I get. Wife and daughters on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes in Idaho last summer. It is embarassing to have all those sports bras flapping in the wind while drying on top of the panniers. FWIW- 2 bikes have 32 mm Schwalbe Marathons (just the plain Jane versions), one 28 mm Conti Ultra Gatorskins, and one with 25 mm Ultra Gatorskins.

Last edited by Doug64; 05-29-13 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 05-29-13, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
I can't say I like gatorskins that much, but they felt so much better than the pair of armadillos I used FWIW.
I liked the Gatorskins at first, but for me they didn't last. Great flat protection to begin with, but the were cut to ribbons in 6 months. YMMV

I found Vittoria Rando Pros to be comparable to plain Marathons in flat protection. Both very, very good. A plain Marathon lasted a little over a year and nearly 3,000 miles for me, which is totally respectable for a rear tire in my road conditions and me being a heavy Clyde. My Vittoria Rando Pro's are lighter than plain Marathons. Note, I'm running the 26" (x 1.5") versions of these tires.

Last edited by Medic Zero; 05-29-13 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 05-30-13, 12:00 AM
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It is called a "garage sale". It only looks bad, but only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish- even in the rain
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Old 05-30-13, 12:58 AM
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I'm on the Vittoria bandwagon too. My first touring bike came stock with the Randonneur Cross. They were a little too grippy for road riding if you ask me, but I wore them nearly through the outer layer after a solid year of commuting (~2000 mi) without a single flat. I live in a very urban city so I've rolled over more than my fair share of glass. I was so happy with the protection these tires had that I replaced them with the Randonneur Pros (folding, same shielding as Rando Cross but with much smoother tread +reflective side walls). Now, another year of riding later, I am happy to report another puncture-free year has passed; and the Rando Pros are lasting even longer thanks to the smoother tread. The way my current set is wearing, I expect I might even get a total of three years (~6000 mi) out of this set.
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Old 05-30-13, 04:57 AM
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+100 on Marathons and also I love Big Apples.

Yes, perhaps there might be some rolling resistance but thats nothing compared to changing the tire a lot of the time because of a little piece of glass. I tour on Big Apples and love them, I commute on Marathons and also my road bike, back tire, has marathon tires. Why? Piece of mind. Where I ride there is a lot of glass and debris, especially where I commute. I used to swear by Gatorskins but they really let me down on my commuting bike so I switched to Marathons first there and then next on the road bike. Gives me a lot of relief knowing these tires are bomb proof.
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Old 05-30-13, 05:00 AM
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And PLEASE make sure you bring the right equipment to change a flat.
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Old 05-30-13, 07:47 AM
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I put Gatorskins on my road bike for winter riding & CompuTrainer workouts (too lazy to switch to a trainer tire). They hold up well. Harsher ride vs. more performance-oriented Contis, Vittoria Open Corsa, Scwalbe Ultremos, but I'd expect that. You can partially mitigate the ride harshness with lower tire pressure - most of us don't need to run ridiculous inflation pressures anyway, mid 90s psi increases comfort without noticable pinch flat increases. Depending on rims, the Gatorskins may be significantly harder to mount and remove.

My experience with Armadillos is limited and a few years dated. They looked and felt like they could survive riding over broken glass and a bed of nails, which is a good thing, because you risk breaking tire levers and may wish for the finger strength of a champion rock climber to mount them. Significantly heavier feel and harsher ride, too. OK for packed dirt, gravel, uncomfortable on pavement unless resistance to flats is paramount over everything else, IMO.

A point I have not seen mentioned - tire fit is more than just fork width. A 28 mm tire has a slighly greater circumference vs. a 25 mm (see your bike computer's info on calibrating for tire size for examples). One of my bikes has limited clearance in the rear chainstay - sufficient that a 25 mm fits, 28 mm will not unless run at low pressures (I was trying wider tires for a ride with significant dirt & gravel segments). I tried this with Gatorskins, btw; the bike shop correctly predicted the 28s would not fit radially (I was already expected to have to deflate them to fit through the brake pads). Fortunately, they fit fine on my commuter.
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Old 05-30-13, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by courtleigh View Post
Uhhh...ouch? I'm not sure what you're reasoning was for pointing that out, and not being very helpful. Sorry for being such a terrible writer...in a bike forum I think maybe my brain is just fried from being a graduate student and doing too much writing. I just wanted some input.
Good reply, not everyone here is a grouch. It's even possible to read the random sound advice at this forum ;-) .
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Old 05-30-13, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by courtleigh View Post
It seems like there are a couple different Randonneur Pros. Is the RFX City the one everyone is talking about? Then there is just plain Pro City, however I do not see a "Randonneur Pro". Am I mistaken?
Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
Ride quality can include comfort and smoothness of the ride, handling on corners, and the feeling of heaviness (or lack thereof) when accelerating and climbing hills. Marathons and Armadillos are maximized for durability and resistance to flats, with thicker tread and sidewalls, but in doing so give up some of the comfort, handling and lightness you get from less bombproof tires. It's all a matter of compromises and deciding what's most important to you.

My commute is fairly long (30+ miles round trip), with a lot of hills, so I am willing to give up some flat protection and durability for lighter tires that climb, handle and ride better. My main commuting tires are Vittoria Rubinos and Continental GP 4 Seasons, which are both relatively light but also durable and flat-resistant. I've got Vittoria Randonneur Hypers on my touring bike, and they also roll very nice but are somewhat heavier. I commuted for years using racing/training tires such as Michelin Pro2 Race and Conti GP 4000s with very few flats, and only quit using them because they go too expensive.
Tarwheel is right on, as usual.


The best Vittoria touring tire is the Voyager Hyper (AKA the Randonneur Hyper), but the smallest size is 700x32. An excellent alternative in a 700x28 size is the Vittoria Rubino Pro Tech. This is a 4-season tire with a supple ride, a tough all-weather tread compound and a moderate amount of flat protection. It rolls well and rides well and is durable, I've never had a flat (and I ride in Chicago).

The ultra flat proof tires can still flat, and they sacrifice ride quality and wet weather traction to an unacceptable degree.
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 05-30-13 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 05-30-13, 09:11 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
This is a great summery.


The best Vittoria touring tire is the Voyager Hyper (AKA the Randonneur Hyper), but the smallest size is 700x32. An excellent alternative in a 700x28 size is the Vittoria Rubino Tech. This is a 4-season tire with a supple ride, a tough all-weather tread compound and a moderate amount of flat protection. It rolls well and rides well and is durable, I've never had a flat (and I ride in Chicago).

The ultra flat proof tires can still flat, and they sacrifice ride quality and wet weather traction to an unacceptable degree.
We've toured with Vittoria Rubino Pro Tech tires in 28c on our tandem, all up weight about 400 lbs. No flats or cuts. Very satisfactory tires for that use. They roll and handle well for a durable tire. Not the best tire in the wet, but tourists don't normally push the limits, and probably as good or better than previously mentioned tires, Marathons being particularly bad. In general, slower wear and greater resistance to cuts equal poorer adhesion. TANSTAAFL. The best tires we've ever run on our tandem are the new Michelin PRO4 Endurance. Absolutely fabulous tires. Largest size is 25c, but that's enough for paved touring or a sport tandem at 350 lbs.
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Old 05-30-13, 09:26 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
It is called a "garage sale". It only looks bad, but only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish- even in the rain
wuddya mean its easy? it made you blue in the face, I mean blue in the hand...wait, I'm confused.....(I've already used that dumb joke haven't I?)

in all seriousness, if you are not comfortable changing a flat, it really does help to do it a bunch of times at home just so that you can improve your technique (I guess you could sit out under the sprinkler if you really want to be realistic, be overtired and not having eaten enough and therefore cranky, if you really want it to be "worst case" scenario ;-)

re your tire being hard to put on, having plastic tire levers is a great help, but also take a peek at this video that I like to refer to people, as it shows the great trick to help gain that extra little bit of "slack" or clearance to get the last bit of tire onto the rim. In the video he shows how to use two straps to hold the tire in place (will be more clear after you see the vid) but I use the basic technique just using my hands and working my way up to the last bit-it really does help.

Lets just say, as with all things in life, you get better at it the more times you change flats (Im the family bike mechanic) but for years and years I used to get only one a season, so would be rusty.

the technique shown in the vid is a great one to remember though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XUFVrl0UT4
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Old 05-30-13, 10:53 AM
  #25  
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OP;

Most of the issues suffered seem self inflicted based on choices made... Ok if that is what you want to do.

Will likely recur unless you make other/better choices.

On the other hand you could tour for years without any flats. It comes down to choices made and a bit on sheer luck. If you keep a log, you can win a prize for the 100th flat!

Do you have questions on or a desire to avoid the issues in the future. We can help you with that if the desire is sincere.

/K
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